[Qgis-developer] 'File' versus 'Project'

Larry Shaffer larrys at dakotacarto.com
Wed Apr 24 09:46:23 PDT 2013


On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM, Nathan Woodrow <madmanwoo at gmail.com> wrote:

> William,
> I can understand the concern, it was the same thing that went though my
> mind when I change the composer menu. In the end most people didn't care,
> or adapted.   There are a lot of applications that don't use a file menu
> and work quite well, I would say better in fact.
> http://i.imgur.com/t0QZeJK.png Chrome and Firefox
> http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/images/autocad_context_sensitive_presspull_large_900x577.jpg
>  AutoCAD
> Regarding the Edit menu, you will notice that the tools in there are not
> related to text or documents they only refer to the current feature, or
> selection of features.  If you have a dialog open you can't use that menu,
> unless the dialog is non model and in that case still doesn't help you as
> there are no tools to use on text.
> If the Edit menu is to stay, that is fine however I would suggest a new
> menu called Feature/s which houses all the current tools in the edit menu
> minus the Undo/Redo and Copy/Paste Feature.

While the Mac HIG clearly states that changing the name of the File menu,
or removing the File menu, is fine, the following are definitely not a good
idea in my opinion:

* Having anything except Edit to the right of File/Project
That would not only be unconventional and confusing to users, it gains very
little compared to the significance of the change. IMO it should absolutely
be avoided. Clearly the Mac convention here is to have File, Edit, [View],
[Main Component], [Lesser Component], etc. (older Mac conventions had View
more towards right end of bar) This is shown in Apple's Mail program [0],
where the main component is a mailbox and the lesser a message. In
Photoshop it is: File, Edit, Image, Layer...  Following these conventions
any Feature menu should be located just right of the Layer menu, and the
Layer menu just right of Edit or View.

* Moving Layer items into Project menu
While using almost all Mac software the File menu is visited only when
initiating, saving, exporting, printing, or ending a work session,
regardless of whether it is file-based in nature. While working within the
session, almost always component menus are used. For example, a similar
layer-based program, Photoshop, places all it layer-related actions under
the Layer menu, not the Image menu. IMO the Layer menu actions should stay
where they are

However, the menu could be cleaned up a bit. Having a submenu for adding
data sources, and sub-grouping by type with separators, will allow growth
of the submenu without cluttering the main Layer menu [1].

* Moving editing function out of Edit menu
The main editing currently done in QGIS is on features, aka 'Digitizing'
for the toolbar, so it is logical for those editing functions to be under
the Edit menu. I agree with William in that undo/redo should always be
located there, as well as copy/cut/paste and delete functions. Currently
copy/cut/paste refers to only 'features,' which makes no sense if you are
not editing features. Those should be generic and only be Copy/Cut/Paste
and Delete or Clear, or be dynamic and change relative to what is being
edited (that would be more work, though).

So, maybe there should be a Digitizing submenu under Edit. Other items that
programs commonly place under the Edit menu (some not currently implemented
in QGIS) are spell-checking, text manipulations (upper, lower, etc.),
special character inserts, select functions (currently under View),
find/search functions, and others. So there is functionally room to grow in
that menu, outside of just feature editing actions, i.e. Edit menu should
not be considered for removal.

As a separate suggestion: if we wanted to minimize our menus better and
prepare for unknown future functionality grouping and expansion, we could
create a Tools main menu, which could have Vector, Raster, Database and
Analysis submenus. This would make room for a Feature main menu, for
example, and allow future growth within Tools without forcing yet more
horizontal growth of the menubar. Downside is that it adds an extra layer
of submenu mousing to get to commonly used actions.



> Nathan
> On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 12:17 AM, William Kyngesburye <
> woklist at kyngchaos.com> wrote:
>> Well, my original reaction when I saw the File->Project change was that
>> it's very non-standard, and may cause more cofusion than it's worth.
>>  Certainly on OS X, maybe on other systems.
>> People know what the "File" menu means, even if the main object of an
>> application is a "project", or video or email or whatever.
>> Same goes for the "Edit" menu.  And it's standard position is right next
>> to the File menu.  Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy and Paste are the basics for the
>> edit menu, and should work in dialog text boxes for copying and pasting
>> text, as well as whatever document editing they may do.  Do not move
>> Undo/Redo, more confusion.
>> I realize that this may be Mac-centric, but the OS X HI Guidelines seem
>> to be generally followed or adapted on other systems, and these File and
>> Edit menu changes are a bit radical.
>> On Apr 24, 2013, at 6:07 AM, Nathan Woodrow wrote:
>> > Ramon,
>> >
>> > I would agree with those points. In fact I think the menu structure as
>> is doesn't make much sense and the Edit menu should be renamed to Feature/s.
>> >
>> > What does Edit mean:
>> >
>> >  - Edit Layer
>> >  - Edit Feature
>> >  - Edit Project
>> >
>> > If you look at all the tools in the Edit menu they are all related to
>> the current feature or features.  The undo and redo actions should be moved
>> to the layer menu.
>> >
>> > Here are my thoughts on the Layer menu:
>> >
>> > http://i.imgur.com/oYO55Qz.png
>> >
>> > Moving the Add xxx Layer to the project menu would mean you follow
>> these actions when creating a new project:
>> >
>> > Project -> New
>> > Project -> Add xxx Layer
>> >
>> > Change the style
>> >
>> > Layer -> Properties
>> >
>> > That is a more logical flow IMO then currently what is there.
>> >
>> > Thoughts?
>> >
>> > - Nathan
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:21 PM, Ramon Andiñach <custard at westnet.com.au>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > On 24/04/2013, at 05:55 , Ramon Andiñach wrote:
>> >
>> > >
>> > > On 24/04/2013, at 04:28 , John C. Tull wrote:
>> > >
>> > >> Hi all,
>> > >>
>> > >> I was having some discussion on IRC today with Tim and Larry about
>> the recent change to the menu in trunk. Before, the menu used "File" and
>> that was changed to "Project". My position is that it does not seem
>> Mac-like, whether or not a QGIS document resides in the filesystem as a
>> .qgs file or if your "Project" is fed from a database, something apparently
>> planned for the future of QGIS.
>> > >>
>> > >> I'd be interested in feedback from other Mac users on this. I'm
>> flexible to the change, but wanted to vet this and see if anyone else had a
>> strong opinion one way or the other. Please make it clear if you are a Mac
>> OS X user or not.
>> > >>
>> > >> Thanks,
>> > >> John
>> > >
>> > > Interesting. I'd say this is going to look as odd at home on my mac
>> as at work on their windows box. No file menu - that's going to look very
>> unfamiliar.
>> > >
>> > > That said, it's a good name. It does describe what's in there - those
>> commands work on the project-file not a layer-file.
>> > >
>> > > -ramon.
>> >
>> > Ok. I've been standing at the bottom of a large-ish hole today, so if
>> this sounds like a dumb idea that's my excuse.
>> >
>> > Could we move Layer across next to Project?
>> >
>> >
>> > Some reasoning.
>> > 1. If we're abandoning File in favour of Project, then there's possibly
>> no reason to retain Edit next to it either. Other than historical ones.
>> > 2. Project and Layer are largely about opening, closing, saving (and
>> other similar things) files. Project files in one menu and Layers (vectors,
>> rasters, DB, etc) in the other.
>> > 3. Then you have a more logical progression from left to right about
>> how to use QGIS. (Open stuff, change stuff)
>> >
>> > -ramon.
>> > (OK, 1. is not so good, but it does open the door to ask questions!)
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> >
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>> -----
>> William Kyngesburye <kyngchaos*at*kyngchaos*dot*com>
>> http://www.kyngchaos.com/
>> "Mon Dieu! but they are all alike.  Cheating, murdering, lying, fighting,
>> and all for things that the beasts of the jungle would not deign to possess
>> - money to purchase the effeminate pleasures of weaklings.  And yet withal
>> bound down by silly customs that make them slaves to their unhappy lot
>> while firm in the belief that they be the lords of creation enjoying the
>> only real pleasures of existence....
>> - the wisdom of Tarzan
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